[Advaita-l] Theory of Language: Mimamsa, Advaita and Vyakarana 3 of 3

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 11 10:29:09 CST 2015

Sri Venkatraghavan ji
Thank you for initiating the discussion. My response is given inline.
      From: Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>
 To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>; Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com> 
 Sent: Friday, 11 December 2015 7:45 PM
 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Theory of Language: Mimamsa, Advaita and Vyakarana 3 of 3
Sri Siva SenAniji,
Namaste.Thank you very much for making these posts available to the group - they were very enlightening indeed. Apologies about the barrage of questions (please ignore, if I have not understood the concepts outlined by you):1) If the vaiyAkaraNa considers sabda to be nitya, but that the artha denoted by the sabda to be only conceptual, does that concept have nityatvam or not?
- the conceptual artha is nitya.
2) If the conceptual meaning of the word has nityatvam, then it follows that arthA according to vyAkaraNa will have to survive praLaya, etc. If it did not survive praLaya, how can the artha be nitya? 
- yes, concepts survive pralaya.
3) If such an artha did survive praLaya, how is the concept different from mImAmsa's jAti?
- jAti cannot exist by itself and needs the ASraya of a vyakti. For instance, where is cowness? It is there only in cows and nowhere else. So after pralaya and before SRshTi, when nothing is, where does jAti reside? The situation with concept is different. The conceiver, the conceived and the concept are non-different; they are viewed as different during saMsAra. Irrespective of how they are viewed, they always are. When we have bheda-vivakshA (a desire to talk of them as separate, say as in "his hands", and "the fingers of his hand"), they are referred to separately, and when we have abheda-vivakshA (whether after pralaya and before sRshTi or with reference to a jIvanmukta etc.), they are spoken of as one.
4) If on the other hand, the vyAkaraNa position is that vyAkaraNa artha is not nitya, then it follows that their relationship (betn. a nitya sabda and its anitya artha) is not nitya. So when a vaiyAkaraNa says sabda is nitya, is he only referring to sabda, but not its artha and sambandha?
- according to vyAkaraNa, Sabda, artha and their saMbandha - all three are nitya, with Brahman of the nature of Sabda being the base, or being the entity seen as three.
5) Moreover, any specific sabda can then have several meanings, because its artha is anitya. From srishti to srishti, or even within one srishti itself, the same sabdA can denote different things. Extending this further, is vyAkaraNa's position that veda sabda is nitya, but its artha keeps changing?
- This is supposed to put the VaiyAkaraNa in a dock because nityatva demands that the relation between Sabdas and Arthas should remain constant through various kalpas, but there is a bhAshya statement to the contrary [1], seemingly accepting Sabdanityatva limited to a kalpa, and stating that artha is nitya across kalpas. The resolution is that bhAshykAra Patanjali keeps toying in such a manner. Following the maxim, व्याख्यानात् विशेषप्रतिपत्तिः, one should understand bhAshya statements with the help of commentators. There are many places where Patanjali states many views without indicating what the siddhAnta is. This is called perspectivism by modern western scholars (i.e. accommodating multiple views to develop a perspective), but traditional scholars identity certain positions as siddhAnta, though there is no textual support. SiddhAnta is that the relation is same across kalpas.
6) Finally, is the nityatvam of sabda a paramArtha satyam in vyAkaraNa? Or is it nityam only in a vyavahAra sense, like srishti/samsAra of an advaitin? If paramArtha satyam, veda sabda will be paramArtham, but that is not advaita's position (त्रैगुण्य विषयाः वेदाः).
- In the paramArtha Veda is non-different from Brahman; all Artha is non-different from Sabda. That said, Veda  - presumably in its manifest state - is explicitly accepted as an upAya (i.e. something which is no longer useful after the goal is attained) in Vakyapadiya 1.5.
Once again, apologies about the many questions.
- Sir, on the contrary, you have my gratitude for raising the questions. Hopefully, the answers help take the discussion forward.

RegardsN. Siva Senani
[1] This occurs in the bhAshya under the sUtra तेन प्रोक्तम् ॥4.3.101॥ This sUtra states that taddhita affixes, taught in subsequent sUtras, occur in the sense of tena proktam, i.e. prakarsheNa uktam. For instance on the strength of 4.3.102, the taddhita affix छण् is ordained after tittiri when the intended sense is tena proktam, i.e. तित्तिरिणा प्रोक्तम् अधीयते तैत्तिरीयाः। This sUtra starts a discussion on the difference between प्रोक्तम् and कृतम् (there is one more similar category called उपज्ञातम्, but then we are digressing too much). One difference shown is that Veda being nitya cannot be kRtam, and has to be proktam. In that context, Patanjali makes the following statement:
ननु चोक्तं, न हि छन्दांसि क्रियन्ते नित्यानि छन्दांसीति। यद्यप्यर्थो नित्यः, या त्वसौ वर्णानुपूर्वी सा अनित्या, तद्भेदाच्चैतद्भवति काठकं कालापकं मोदकं पैप्पलादकमिति।It has been said that Vedas are not made, that they are nitya. Even though the artha of Veda is nitya, the order of letters is not; on account of the difference in the order of varNas, the same Veda is called by various names such as kAThakam, kAlApakam, modakam and paippalAdakam.


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